Maryville resident Ernest Kramer, a full professor of music who teaches piano performance and other courses at Northwest Missouri State University, recently returned from a week in Vienna, Austria, where he conducted research on the music and life of Austrian composer Franz von Suppé.
Vienna has one of the world's richest musical traditions. Over the past three centuries Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schoenberg all worked there.
Kramer's trip included visits to the Austrian National Library and the Vienna City and State Library, where he as able to examine many of Suppé's hand-written manuscripts, printed scores, letters and other memorabilia. The trip was funded by a Northwest Faculty Research grant.
"The information that I gathered in these two magnificent libraries was invaluable," Kramer said. "I was able to hold in my hands such Suppé masterworks as 'The Light Cavalry,' 'Poet and Peasant' and 'Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna.' I carefully examined and took notes on these world-famous pieces for countless hours. That experience was simply priceless."
The results of Kramer's work is to become the basis for a book he is writing on Suppé's music to be published by the Edwin Mellen Press of Wales.
Suppé (1819-1895) was an Austrian composer of light operas who was born in what is now Croatia. He is noted for creating about 30 operettas along with numerous ballets and other stage works.
His overtures have proved especially long-lasting, and several are, often unknowingly, familiar to baby boomers as the soundtracks for cartoons featuring such characters as Bugs Bunny, Popeye, Mickey Mouse and Dudley Do-Right.